COVID-19: News, Information, Resources, & Opportunities to Support

Skip to main content

Doctoral FAQs

Post-Master’s DNP

Is the program offered online?
Beginning Fall 2020, the program will be offered fully online with the exception of a few on-campus intensives. All students enrolled in the program will be expected to attend the intensive sessions at our Philadelphia, PA campus. Dates of the intensives will be announced shortly. 
Will students in the Post-Master’s DNP be granted a DNP degree in a specialty area?
No our Post-Master’s DNP will be more focused on practice innovation and will have a more generalist curriculum.
If I’ve taken certain classes in my MSN program, whether at Penn or elsewhere, can they count towards credits for the DNP?

Only up to two courses may be accepted for transfer credit. We are unable to review transfer credit during the admissions process. You may request classes be reviewed for transfer credit if you are admitted.

What preparation do I need to be eligible to apply for the DNP Program?

A nursing master’s degree is required. There is no minimum work experience required, but we strongly encourage work experience post-MSN.

Is the program full-time or part-time?

While we expect most students to complete the program part-time, a full-time option is also available. Courses will have to be taken over the summer for all students.

How many courses are required to complete the program?
11 courses are required to complete our Post Master’s DNP program.
Is there an admissions interview?

Competitive applicants will be invited to interview.

Are there funding options for the DNP?
Private fellowships are not available, but you may apply for federal aid.
When is the application deadline?

Please review our application deadlines here.

What is the difference between a DNP and a PhD?


  • Purpose - Prepares expert clinical scholars to perform direct clinical practice, translate, disseminate and integrate evidence-based research into clinical practice and improve quality of health outcomes for individuals, populations and systems.
  • Curricular Content:
    • Advanced clinical practice
    • Clinical scholarship skills
    • Technology used in practice
    • Analysis of clinical outcomes
    • Evidence-based practice
    • Leadership role development
    • Rural and underserved populations
  • Clinical Requirements - No
  • Research Requirements – No
  • Final Product – Project based
  • Types of Jobs:
    • APRN in a variety of healthcare settings
    • Academic faculty position which includes practice, education, and service roles
    • Leadership positions in health care organizations, industry, government agencies
    • Evidence-based Practice Coordinator
    • Outcomes Manager
    • Magnet Coordinator
    • Quality Improvement Director



  • Prepares nurse scientists to conduct research, develop the scholarship needed to advance the body of nursing knowledge, guide the practice of nursing, assume leadership in nursing and health care organizations, and participate in the development of social and health policy
  • Curricular Content –
    • Methods and theories used to guide research
    • Grant writing skills
    • Technology used in research
    • Statistical & other analytical methods
    • Research traditions & methodologies
    • Faculty role development
    • Cognate areas of interest to guide research
  • Clinical Requirements – No
  • Research Requirements - Faculty guided research residency hours working on an established research project(s) to hone selected research skills
  • Final Product - Original research project that makes a significant contribution to the science of nursing
  • Types of Jobs:
    • Academic faculty position which includes research, education, and service roles
    • Research Scientist for healthcare organizations, industry or government agencies
    • Principal Investigator on extramural research grants
    • Leadership positions in health organizations, industry and government agencies
    • Government advisor on health policy

DNP-Nurse Anesthesia

What is the experience needed to apply to the DNP Nurse Anesthesia program at the University of Pennsylvania?

You must have at least two years of ICU/critical care experience working with the most critically ill patients. All work experience should be calculated after your orientation period. Our most competitive applicants usually have more than two years. Neonatal ICU, Emergency Room, Recovery Room, Step Down Units, and Interventional Radiology will not be considered as ICU experience.

What is the minimum GPA for admission?

We have a very holistic admissions process. All parts of your application will be considered. However, we do recommend that your science GPA be at least a 3.0 or higher.

If I received credit from my AP Statistics course in high school, may I use this as my prerequisite statistics course?

Yes, but the credit must appear on your undergraduate transcript.

Is there an admissions interview?

Competitive applicants will be invited to interview by the program faculty.

When will I be able to start the DNP Nurse Anesthesia program?

Due to the demand for the DNP Nurse Anesthesia program, we are admitting students into the program two years in advance.


How many are accepted to the PhD program at Penn Nursing?

Approximately 6-12 applicants are accepted each year.

How can I get more information on the research faculty are doing for my application?

Please find our faculty’s research interests here.

Can I reach out to faculty for more information?

Yes, you are encouraged to reach out to faculty who align with your research interests and may be a good mentor during your PhD program. The PhD application is about looking at faculty’s research interests and how they align with yours. In your application, you should highlight these connections.

Is there a clinical component?

Is there an admissions interview?

Competitive applicants will be invited to interview.

When does the PhD program start?

The PhD program starts in the fall semester, and it typically takes 3-5 years to complete the program.

When is the deadline to apply?

Please find all application deadlines here.

If I am an international applicant with an international RN license, can I still apply to the PhD program?

Yes, you may apply to the PhD program with an international RN license. The license must be valid at time of application.